Kate Middleton waited decade for Royal Train honour while Meghan Markle waited months | Royal | News (Reports)

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Kate Middleton and Prince William board Royal Train

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be stopping in England, Scotland and Wales on their three-day, 10-stop, 1,250-mile trip and will be meeting NHS staff, volunteers, care home staff, mental health professionals, teachers, school children and young people to hear about their experiences. The Palace said they will pay tribute to “the incredible work of individuals and organisations that have gone above and beyond” in response to the pandemic. The couple, who were pictured wearing masks, started at Euston station last night, where they met with essential transport workers, and musician Shakin’ Stevens performed his festive hit ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’.

The couple will be using the iconic Royal Train to make their journey, the first time Kate has been given the honour of travelling on it.

The Royal Train is usually reserved for the most senior members of the Royal Family including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and occasionally the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

While Kate has been on regular trains, including short journeys with the Queen and Prince Philip during the Diamond Jubilee Tour, she has not yet been on this locomotive, an invitation for which only the Queen can extend.

Indeed, it will be Kate’s first time despite being a senior royal for nearly a decade, and despite the fact Meghan Markle took the Royal Train just months after her wedding to Prince Harry.

READ MORE: Prince William’s ‘sharp look’ after ‘inappropriate comment’ about Kate

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Kate and William at Euston station yesterday; Meghan and the Queen getting off the Royal Train (Image: GETTY)

Royal Train

The Royal Train at Euston station yesterday (Image: GETTY)

The trip was also Meghan’s first solo trip with the Queen, while Kate had to wait a year after her wedding to be afforded the same luxury.

In 2018, Meghan was invited to go to Cheshire with Her Majesty on the royal trail.

They opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge In Runcorn, visited Chester’s Storyhouse theatre and had lunch at the Chester Town Hall with civic dignitaries.

Pictures of Meghan and the Queen, dressed in bright green, giggling together were plastered across the newspapers.

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Meghan Markle and the Queen giggling together during their visit to Cheshire (Image: GETTY)

Thousands of people waited at venues for them to arrive, with stalls set up on the streets selling flags and souvenirs.

Kate and William’s trip is being kept far more under wraps, over fears that crowds gathering to watch them could contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

It was recently suggested that Meghan’s trip on the Royal Train might have actually been a mistake in retrospect, now that she has stepped down as a senior royal alongside Harry.

There are concerns that it might have been this trip that made the Duchess of Sussex realise Royal Family life was not for her.

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Meghan and the Queen disembarking the Royal Train in 2018 (Image: GETTY)

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

Mr Myers said in September: “There were some comments about whether people in the Palace thought they had made a mistake letting Meghan go on her first engagement with the Queen to Chester.

“And I was there at the time ‒ there were loads of crowds, great day, big privilege for her to step out with the Queen so soon after she got married.

“But the issue was they were saying, well did Meghan then think, ‘I don’t fancy this, going up to a northern town on a train overnight and I really want to be making speeches at the UN and changing the way that girls’ education is sought after in Africa’.”

Queen and Meghan Markle disembark The Royal Train in 2018

Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior royals at the end of March and moved to California with their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Rail travel is said to be the Queen’s favourite mode of transport, but it is also one of the most expensive ways to travel.

According to the Royal Family accounts released in September, the train was used just three times in the last financial year and cost about £20,000 each time.

It is believed William and Harry have only been aboard a couple of times before, including in the days after the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

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William and Kate at Euston station yesterday at the start of their tour (Image: GETTY)

The Royal Train, which has nine carriages, is the only private non-commercial train service catering to one family still open in the UK, according to The Telegraph.

The earliest royal coaches date back to Queen Victoria’s reign, who was the first British monarch to ride on a train.

However, the Royal Train in its current form was commissioned in 1977 for the Queen’s silver Jubilee and has had a number of upgrades since.

Kate and William’s tour is due to end near Windsor, where it is believed they will join the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a group photo.

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